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Questions and Answers: Great Shelford leasehold conveyancing

I've found a house that seems to meet my requirements, at a great price which is making it more attractive. I have just been informed that it's a leasehold as opposed to freehold. I am assuming that there are particular concerns purchasing a leasehold house in Great Shelford. Conveyancing advisers have are soon to be appointed. Will my lawyers set out the risks of buying a leasehold house in Great Shelford ?

The majority of houses in Great Shelford are freehold rather than leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local conveyancer who is familiar with the area can assist with the conveyancing process. We note that you are buying in Great Shelford so you should seriously consider looking for a Great Shelford conveyancing solicitor and be sure that they have experience in transacting on leasehold houses. First you will need to check the number of years remaining. Being a lessee you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want with the house. The lease comes with conditions such as requiring the landlord’sconsent to carry out changes to the property. You may also be required to pay a maintenance charge towards the maintenance of the communal areas where the property is located on an estate. Your conveyancer should appraise you on the various issues.

Back In 2009, I bought a leasehold flat in Great Shelford. Conveyancing and Platform Home Loans Ltd mortgage are in place. A letter has just been received from someone claiming to own the reversionary interest in the property. Attached was a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1998. The conveyancing practitioner in Great Shelford who acted for me is not around.What should I do?

First make enquiries of HMLR to be sure that the individual claiming to own the freehold is in fact the registered owner of the freehold reversion. You do not need to instruct a Great Shelford conveyancing lawyer to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for a few pound. You should note that in any event, even if this is the rightful freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.

I am attracted to a two maisonettes in Great Shelford both have approximately 50 years left on the leases. Should I regard a short lease as a deal breaker?

There is no doubt about it. A leasehold apartment in Great Shelford is a wasting asset as a result of the reducing lease term. The closer the lease gets to zero years unexpired, the more it adversely affects the value of the premises. For most buyers and lenders, leases with under eighty years become less and less marketable. On a more positive note, leaseholders can extend their leases by serving a Section 42 Notice. One stipulation is that they must have owned the property for two years (unlike a Section 13 notice for purchasing the freehold, when leaseholders can participate from day one of ownership). When successful, they will have the right to an extension of 90 years to the current term and ground rent is effectively reduced to zero. Before moving forward with a purchase of premises with a short lease term remaining you should talk to a solicitor specialising in lease extensions and leasehold enfranchisement. We are are happy to put you in touch with Great Shelford conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. More often than not it is possible to negotiate informally with the freeholder to extend the lease You may find he or she is happy to negotiate informally and willing to consider your offer straight off, without having to involve anyone else. This will save you time and money and it could help you reach a lower price on the lease. You need to ensure that the agreed terms represent good long-term value compared with the standard benefits of the Section 42 Notice and that onerous clauses are not inserted into any redrafting of the lease.

Do you have any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Great Shelford with the aim of saving time on the sale process?

  • A significant proportion of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Great Shelford can be bypassed where you instruct lawyers the minute your agents start advertising the property and request that they start to collate the leasehold information needed by the buyers representatives.
  • In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s approval? In particular have you laid down wooden flooring? Most leases in Great Shelford state that internal structural changes or addition of wooden flooring require a licence issued by the Landlord consenting to such alterations. Where you dont have the approvals to hand you should not contact the landlord without checking with your lawyer first.
  • A minority of Great Shelford leases require Licence to Assign from the landlord. If this applies to your lease, you should place the estate agents on notice to make sure that the purchasers obtain financial (bank) and professional references. Any bank reference will need to confirm that the buyers are able to meet the yearly service charge and the actual amount of the service charge should be quoted in the bank’s letter. You will therefore need to provide your estate agents with the service charge figures so that they can pass this information on to the purchasers or their solicitors.
  • If you have the benefit of shareholding in the freehold, you should make sure that you hold the original share certificate. Arranging a replacement share certificate is often a lengthy formality and delays many a Great Shelford home move. Where a reissued share is necessary, you should approach the company officers or managing agents (where applicable) for this as soon as possible.
  • You believe that you know the number of years remaining on your lease but you should double-check via your lawyers. A purchaser's conveyancer will be unlikely to recommend their client to proceed with the purchase of a leasehold property the remaining number of years is below 80 years. In the circumstances it is essential at an as soon as possible that you identify whether the lease term for your property needs extending. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your property on the market for sale.

  • What makes a Great Shelford lease problematic?

    There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Great Shelford. Most leases are individual and drafting errors can result in certain sections are erroneous. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:

    • Repairing obligations to or maintain parts of the building
    • Insurance obligations
    • Clauses dealing with recovering service charges for expenditure on the building or common parts.
    • Maintenance charge proportions which don’t add up to the correct percentage

    You may encounter a problem when selling your property if you have a defective lease as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Santander, The Royal Bank of Scotland, and Barclays Direct all have express conveyancing instructions when it comes to what is expected in a lease. Where a lender has been advised by their lawyers that the lease is problematic they may refuse to provide security, obliging the purchaser to withdraw.

    I invested in buying a split level flat in Great Shelford, conveyancing formalities finalised in 2008. Can you work out an approximate cost of a lease extension? Corresponding properties in Great Shelford with an extended lease are worth £262,000. The average or mid-range amount of ground rent is £65 per annum. The lease expires on 21st October 2082

    You have 61 years left to run we estimate the premium for your lease extension to range between £20,900 and £24,200 as well as professional fees.

    The suggested premium range above a general guide to costs for extending a lease, but we are not able to provide the actual costs in the absence of detailed due diligence. Do not use the figures in tribunal or court proceedings. There are no doubt other concerns that need to be taken into account and you obviously should be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Please do not take any other action placing reliance on this information without first seeking the advice of a professional.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Great Shelford